By Syed Shaheen Chishti
It is important to understand the relationship between Islam and Judaism. Both religions believe in the same God. Jewish people are from the community of Moses (PBUH) and we are from the community of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). Both Prophets prayed together on the night journey/Miraj. When Mohammed (SAW) went to meet God he was ordinated by God initially to ask his community to pray 1,000 times a day. When Prophet Mohammed (SAW) came down, Moses (PBUH) advised him to request a lesser number of daily prayers. This went on for a while until it was determined that Muslims must pray five times a day. This clearly shows remarkable cooperation and respect for each other.
Similarly, when Muslims pray they say we send blessings to the community of Abraham (PBUH) which means five times a day a practicing Muslim says this every day. In a lifetime a Muslim sends blessings to a Jewish and Christian person at least 146,000 times if one was to live for 80 years.Syed Shaheen Chishti
It is so sad to see in today’s world that these two communities are fighting against each other. Muslims need to understand that Jewish people have suffered for thousands of years in Europe. They held the name of God/Allah high for so long. Jewish people need to make inroads with technology and investments in the Muslim world. The majority of Muslims don’t live in the Middle East but actually, most of them are in South East Asia and the Asia Pacific.
The State of Israel needs to be fully accepted by all Muslim countries. The State of Israel needs to work with countries that are non-Arab like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Also to slowly open up trade missions and education tours. Bangladesh Muslims or Pakistani Muslims do not know Jewish history and vice versa. Israel needs to see that not all Muslims are Palestine (note – consider saying terror group, rather than Palestine). We are also a diverse people and not all of us dislike or hate Israel. Both sides will gain from this.
Muslims need to acknowledge that Jewish people are exceptionally intelligent and our first cousins so we should align with them as a natural alliance. The Muslim fear that Zionism will take over the world, needs to be addressed – since this is not true. Even if it was true, what would be better than being ruled by someone who believes in the same God/Allah.
If we don’t accept, then what are the alternatives? We keep fighting for another 70 years, 170 years, and 270 years, and in the end, both sides will have to sit down and accept each other’s position. In terms of the Palestine issue, I am sure both communities can come together to improve the economy of Palestine and I would be happy to play a part in this. A safer neighbor is better than an enemy. Security for both sides must be respected.
Peace with economic development in my view is more lasting. An engaged youth will be more productive for Palestine and Israel. There will have to be a given and taken in this process to end this once and for all. We move forward confidently hand in hand, standing up for each other in this world, learning from each other. The trade benefits for both sides – Israel and the Muslim world are enormous and endless. There is so much we can do together and protect each other.
Most importantly all of us Jewish and Muslims will stand in front of the same God/Allah to answer for our deeds. If we harm each other do you think our God will welcome us back with open arms? The answer is to co-operate, accept, co-exist, educate and empower economically. We must do all to leave this world in a more peaceful place for our two communities than when we arrived.